Unstoppable

Matt continues to move onward in his recovery with an unstoppable forward momentum.

Matt has spent the past several months attending Winways (a special facility for individuals with brain injuries) for rehabilitation and has made some astounding progress and he continues to attend one day per week.  At Winways he works on speech, occupational and physical therapy and has progressed in leaps and bounds.  Over the past few months Matt moved from a walker to a quad cane to a standard cane and can now walk unassisted with his standard cane.  He even recently began swimming preparing himself for his goal of getting on a surf board this summer.  He says getting in the pool and moving around in the water feels amazing.

Last month Matt, along with many of you Foush Followers, attended Coastline College’s 8th Annual Walk for Brain Injury Awareness to raise money for the specialized program they have available for people with brain injuries just like Matt.  Matt set and attained the goal of completing the walk and was able to finish on his own with his friends and family surrounded him, cheering him on.  As he approached the finish line supported by his girlfriend Nancy, he released her hand and in a very emotional moment took the final steps across the finish line walking without any assistance.  It was such a beautiful moment.  Nacy’s brother Vu had beautiful custom shirts made for everyone on Matt’s team which read “The Foush Followers” on the front.

finish line walk

Matt is pictured here with girlfriend Nancy as he releases her hand to walk through the finish line on his own.

 

finish line front view

Here he goes, walking across the finish line. Could you possibly be any more amazing Matt?

matt and nancy

Having just started school at Coastline College Matt describes the opportunity to attend as a second chance.

Look at Matt go- pictured here on his first day of school.

Look at Matt go- pictured here on his first day of school.

Matt is now beginning his second week of school.  He said, “The first week I was really wiped out but now I think I’m getting used to it.  This is my next step in recovery.  My school overlooks the ocean and I feel so at home, I know I’m taking a step in the right direction. This is the perfect place for me right now.”

Matt is taking several classes at Coastline College;  Psycho-Social for one hour, Computers for one hour,  and Cognitive for two hours.  He also takes a smart device class on Thursdays where he is learning to use his i-pad.  His schedule is quite busy between school, swimming at the gym and continued therapy at Winways on Fridays.

Recently I was able to have dinner with Matt and he constantly laughed and joked and in-between shoveling enormous amounts of food into his mouth he grinned from ear to ear with that contagious smile of his.  I remember telling Matt that he looked good, that he looked happy, I mean really happy.  He replied:

“I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life.   Some people see what happened to me as a tragedy but I see it as a blessing. Physically I have a long way to go but mentally I am a much stronger person since the accident.”

Then we both cried.  Then we laughed.  Then cried a little more.

ability to heal

 

Matt’s fund-raising page can be viewed here:

http://www.gofundme.com/4ow29w

Yoga Fund-Raiser 12/18/13

Just a reminder:

Matt’s big yoga fund-raiser is tomorrow, 12/18/13.  The first yoga class begins at 6:00am and the last class starts at 8:30pm.  Stop by anytime!

fund-raiser flier

Please help spread the word, all proceeds will be donated to Matt to pay for his rehabilitation.  At this fund-raiser you will have the chance to bid on this autographed jersey from Ryan Dungey and gloves autographed by Tito Ortiz.

Autographed items

Autographed items from amazing athletes,Ryan Dungey and Tito Ortiz! Thanks Ryan Dungey!

 

Thanks Tito Ortiz!

Thanks Tito Ortiz!

***There will also be a raffle for a 4 day 3 night vacation at one of 200 resort locations!***

Vacation package donated by Jay Yadon of www.roamba.com. Thank you!

Stop by eat some yummy food, do some yoga if choose and check out the autographed items.  This is a good opportunity to score some unique Christmas gifts or just donate for a great cause.

Matt is making lots of progress in his therapy which is wonderful!  It is proving to be very costly though and the medical bills continue to pile up.  Matt also has a fund-raiser page for anyone who cannot make it to the event tomorrow but wants to donate.  http://www.gofundme.com/4ow29w

A big THANK YOU to Megan White, Patrice Simon and Lauren McCoy for organizing this cool event for Matt.  And thanks also to Ryan Dungey, Tito Oritiz and Jay Yadon for their generous contributions!

Thanks!! Hope to see everyone tomorrow at Bikram Yoga at The Camp!

2937 Bristol Street- Ste A-200

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

714-429-7900

Parting is such sweet sorrow — Homeward Bound — Travelin’ Man

Matt has had a very eventful last five days or so.  His last day at St. Jude Medical Center was Wednesday, November 27th.  St. Jude was his third destination on his road to recovery, and just like at the first two stops, he was provided fantastic health care by the resident staff.  Also, just like at Kindred once he regained consciousness, he had the staff wrapped around his finger.  For anyone who knows Matt, they know he has the the most friendly, appreciative, fun loving personality.  Certain nurses would check in on him even when working shifts where they were not directly assigned to him.  Matt would take the time to learn every staff members name who would wander into his room, regardless of whether they were directly responsible for his care, or making sure his hospital room stayed clean.  Such respect for the staff along with his infectious fun loving personality endeared him to all staff members that came in contact with him.

Sweet and Sorrow

Sweet and Sorrow

On Wednesday, Matt moved on to his fourth destination in his road to recovery:  Home!  His return home was just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving.  His return home couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time considering the significance of the holiday and how thankful Matt, the Foushee family, and Matt’s friends are for his recovery.

Home at last!

Home at last!

After spending nearly three months in the hospital recovering, Matt was itching to spend a little time outdoors and enjoy a couple of the things he dearly missed.  Being a holiday weekend, Matt received a brief break from his physical therapy sessions.  On Saturday, Matt, Debbi, and Nancy made good use of the time off and went on a road trip down to Newport to visit the beach for the first time in three months.

Back to the beach

Back to the beach

Good for the soul!

Good for the soul!

After spending some time at the beach, the garbage disposal that is Matt’s belly demanded satisfaction.  It was time for yet another first in a few months:  fish tacos.

Good for the belly!

Good for the belly!

Even though Matt is now home, he still has a long road to recovery and a lot of work to do.  What is next for Matt?  Starting Monday, he will now attend the rehabilitation facility Winways close to home in Orange, California where he will be dropped off in the morning and picked up in the late afternoon.  This facility specializes in rehabilitation for individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.  Matt continues to work on regaining the strength and dexterity with the right side of his body.  Additionally, he will continue to re-learn how to perform the daily responsibilities of caring for himself that so many of us take for granted and never think twice about.  He will attend this facility Monday through Friday for the entire month of December, and at the end of the month then the facility staff will evaluate his progress determine what comes next for Matt.

On a holiday weekend where we are reminded to give thanks, in addition to all the other things in life we are thankful for, we are especially thankful Matt is alive, and we are thankful for his miraculous recovery.  Additionally, the Foushee family and Matt’s friends offer our heartfelt thanks to ALL who have offered their support, prayers, and well wishes to Matt as he has traveled his road to recovery that started in a tiny single room Red Cross hospital in Mexico to home in Orange, and beyond.

You can visit Matt’s fund-raiser page here: http://www.gofundme.com/4ow29w

Thankful

Thanksgiving is upon us and this is the perfect time to reflect on some of the things Matt and his family are grateful for and thankful for this year.

There is this:

Matt is ALIVE and doing so well! Thanks for being such a fighter Matt!

Matt is ALIVE and doing so well! Thanks for being such a fighter Matt!

It is important for everyone to know how much they are appreciated.  Every person who has read this blog, every person who has kept Matt and his family in their thoughts and prayers, those who have donated time and money and helped spread the word of Matt’s story, THANK YOU.  And thank you to the friends and family who stayed by Matt’s side when he was at his worst, holding his hands, rubbing his feet, caressing his arms, and even restraining him when he was trying to rip his trach out and yank his neck brace off.  Each one of you have been such an important part of his recovery.  Matt is beyond thankful.  Matt’s family is beyond thankful.

There are several people who have been at the heart of Matt’s cheerleading team.  We will begin with Matt’s mom Debbie.  Matt talks non-stop about how thankful he is to have her.  She has rarely left his side since his accident and has provided him with a level of support that only a mom can.  Debbie Foushee, Matt is a lucky man to have you as his mom. The unwavering dedication to your son has been a vital key to his astounding recovery process.

Matt’s siblings.  Russ, Amy and Ashlee.  All three have taken time away from their busy families, with small children, driven many miles and spent countless hours at Matt’s side. Russ, Amy and Ashlee, Matt is so thankful to you three, he knows how much you all have worried about him and how you’ve been there supporting him.

Fred Foushee, Matt’s dad has been very supportive and in the tough position of living out-of-state.  Matt has looked forward to and really enjoyed his visits and phone conversations with his dad.  Fred’s hiking buddies have all been incredibly supportive as well.

The kindness of strangers has also been remarkable. So many have reached out asking what they can do, offering prayers, and donating money.  Matt’s friend Lauren McCoy has brought several strangers to the picture who have gone far above and beyond.

Tito Ortiz, world-famous MMA fighter and a friend of Lauren’s, has been a fan and supporter of Matt during this time.  Tito has taken time away from his very busy schedule to sign posters for Matt with encouraging words, he called Matt in the hospital and even made Matt a video.  Tito- who is one bad ‘A’ fighter and athlete said that Matt was an inspiration to him.  His words and support have made a huge impression on Matt and really helped him through some of the toughest moments he will ever face.

Dustin Penner hockey player from the Anaheim Ducks has also taken the time to autograph and write a personal message on a poster for Matt. Dustin always asks about him and has offered a great deal of support and has some hockey tickets waiting for Matt when he is ready.

RVCA clothing (a totally awesome clothing brand that Matt happens to love!) has also been a huge supporter.  Matt’s friend Lauren showed up at the hospital with a supply of clothing the owner donated to him as soon as he heard about his story.  This was such an uplifting and generous gift.  Thank you RVCA!

A nurse at Matt’s second hospital is friends with WCT Dream Tour pro-surfer Brett Simpson.  She told Brett Matt’s story and he also gave him an autographed poster.

Matt’s friend Lauren McCoy has offered a great deal of time and energy to Matt and his recovery, often spending the night at the hospital at his side as well as providing emotional support to his family.  Matt’s friend Megan White has also been a support to Matt and his family spending nights at his bedside, helping promote his fund-raising page to many news outlets such as surfline, surfing magazine and others, and organizing a yoga fund-raiser for him. A big thank you to Nancy Nguyen as well for all of her time, dedication and friendship to Matt.  Nancy provides Matt with a strong sense of comfort and she has been incredibly generous with her time.

Thanks to:

Patrice who owns Matt’s favorite Bikram Yoga studio. Dr. Meister who connected the Foushee’s to Dr. Wheeler- the oral surgeon who went waaaay above and beyond for Matt and did an amazing job. Carrie and Shawna and Paul, thank you!  Thanks to the entire Selway family, and the Aguilar family.  Ryan Selway and Ryan Aguilar, your friendship and deep connection to Matt has seen him through some dark days; he is thankful for you two.  The Bolen family (Dawn you’ve been an incredible support to Debbie!), Pops and Olga, Uncle Ben and Toni and Toni’s family.

There are so many to thank, so many who have offered and continue to offer love, support, prayer, and friendship to all of the Foushee’s.

Last but most certainly not least, thank you to Matt.  You have been an inspiration to countless people.  Thanks for being so strong, for being such a fighter, for taking this second chance at life.  We need you in our lives, Matt, you are here for a reason.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!  The Foushee Family is thankful for you!

(p.s. I am posting this from out of the country and we are having computer issues at our location so none of the great pictures I have of Matt with many of the above mentioned people can be added to this post. Sorry!  I will add them when I return!)

Home

Home sweet home.  These three words are frequently found printed on coffee mugs, needlepoint pillows made by Granny, or maybe a magnet on the fridge.  They are words often taken for granted, commonly finding their way very casually into daily conversation.

Today those three words were immensely powerful for Matt and his family, the significance of which will never be forgotten.

Matt got to go home today for the first time since his accident.  Yesterday, when he was asked, “What is the first thing you will do when you get home tomorrow?”  He was very quick to answer, “I want to see the doggies!”

Matt had a happy reunion with his family dogs.  They missed him so much!

Matt had a happy reunion with his family dogs. They missed him so much!

This homecoming is another milestone Matt’s family hoped and prayed they would be able to experience with him again.  After the accident no one knew if this day would ever come.  Not only did Matt have a happy reunion with his dogs, but he also had a happy reunion with his surf boards!  He was so happy to see them and to be in his own room.

Matt got a little taste of what it will be like next week when he gets to move home to his old room.

Matt got a little taste of what it will be like next week when he gets to move home to his old room.  He can’t wait to paddle out on that board again!

The activities for the day were kept mellow.  He was able to chill out on the couch and watch a movie.

Kicken back at home, watching a movie.

Kickin back at home, watching a movie.

Matt said, “It’s nice to sit and watch a movie with my Mom and Nancy and eat popcorn.”  He enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal prepared by family friend Dawn Bolen.

First meal at home.  Thanks Dawn!!

First meal at home. Thanks Dawn!!

This was the trial run before Matt comes home for good in a few days.  They all had a really great day.  Matt’s mom Debbie lovingly joked that Matt had better be on his best behavior or they’d send him on back to the hospital.  Matt got a good laugh about this and agreed.

Matt eating his first meal home with his friend Nancy.

Matt eating his first meal home with his friend Nancy.

Congratulations to the entire Foushee family on this momentous occasion!

Thanks to all you Foush Followers for the continued support, prayers, well wishes and for sharing his story.  Matt knows you ALL have been a huge part of him doing as well as he is.

Matt will still require long-term specialized rehabilitation, most of which is not covered by insurance.  Thanks so much to all who have so generously donated! Donations in any form and amount help so much.  And thanks to those who have taken the time to share his story and fund-raising page.

Thanks to everyone for also spreading the word about Matt’s yoga fund-raiser at Bikram Yoga at The Camp.

The Camp | Yoga Fund-Raiser 12/18/13

Great news for all you local Foush Followers! There is to be a Fund-Raiser 12/18/13 which was organized by Matt’s friends at his favorite Bikram Yoga studio at The Camp in Costa Mesa. (see Bikram Yoga at The Camp on Facebook) See below for details submitted by Matt’s friend Megan, who is a Bikram Yoga teacher and one of the fund-raiser organizers.  Thanks so much to studio owner Patrice Simon for hosting, to Megan White for organizing and Lauren McCoy for all the help. What an incredibly generous gift of time, money, use of facility and amazing contacts!  All proceeds will be donated to Matt to help pay for his rehabilitation.

Please forward, forward and forward again so we can spread the word to as many people as possible about this awesome fund-raising event.

Here are the details:

All Day- Yoga Fund-Raiser For Matt Foushee- 12/18/13

matt studio promo

Location: Bikram Yoga- The Camp, 2937 Bristol Street Ste A-200, Costa Mesa, CA 92626   714-429-7900

As most of you know, on August 31st, 2013, our dear friend and fellow yogi was hit by a truck in Mexico! He sustained extensive injuries from head to toe! Including a traumatic brain injury which kept him in a coma for a month. Matt is now in a rehabilitation facility where he receives rigorous speech and physical therapy daily. His progress thus far has been astounding! He does as much as he can as soon as he can! Unfortunately, he still has a long way to go, and his insurance does NOT cover MUCH of the rehabilitation therapy he NEEDS!

Therefore, Bikram Yoga The Camp is having an ALL DAY CHALLENGE for Matt! All funds will go towards Matt’s rehabilitation!

 SAVE THE DATE- WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18TH, 2013!

Please come and participate! It will be an AMAZING day- full of hot classes, awesome energy, delicious and healthy food, a special auction, and more to come! You do NOT have to participate in the challenge to donate. You can visit Matt’s Fundraising Page at: http://www.gofundme.com/4ow29w

Or leave a donation at the desk! EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS, HELPS, AND IS APPRECIATED BEYOND WORDS!!!

The fact that Matt not only sustained such a devastating accident- but is STILL FIGHTING his way back- is a TRUE MIRACLE!!! And- the power of people coming together- can create miracles! So lets come together and do our part to help Matt in his recovery- he is most definitely doing his part!!!

“You never know how strong you are- until being strong is the only choice you have”

Let’s all test our strength- In honor of Matt!

Keep Climbing

Matt's friend Lauren put together this collage of Matt.  It's amazing to see how far he has come.

Matt’s friend Lauren put together this collage of Matt. It’s amazing to see how far he has come.

A lot has happened this week for Matt.  He has done really well at St. Jude and they are almost ready to release him to his next phase of treatment.

Matt at St. Jude

Matt is gaining more independence every day.  He is now considered to be a level 6 on the Rancho Scale, keep climbing up that ladder Matt!

Some very exciting news is that he will be permitted to go home with his mom Debbie for a day this weekend for a trial run to see how he does.  One can imagine what a big deal this must be for both Matt as well as his family.  The plan is for him to be released permanently from the hospital next week. He will live with his mom Debbie as he continues to recover.  The Monday following his release from St. Jude he will begin an intense rehabilitation program during the day at a facility called Winways in Orange.

Right now Matt’s schedule is really busy as they have been loading him up with tons of rehab therapy.  There are small windows of time to visit and he can be pretty wiped out by the evening so it is best to call ahead these days to verify when he is available.

There are some really sweet videos on Matt’s Facebook page of his co-workers sending him well-wishes.  It was so nice of his friends to put that together for him!  https://www.facebook.com/#!/CanyouFeeltheSpirit.YEAH

Matt takes every chance he can get to express his gratitude for all of the support he has been receiving.  Thanks to everyone who has been sending prayers and sharing his story.  Here is a link to Matt’s fund-raising page.

Matt and his dad Fred

Matt hangin with his dad Fred